Samsung Set to Unseat Intel from Top Spot in Semiconductor Market
Ron Perillo / 3 years ago
Samsung is now on pace to unseat Intel as the largest chipmaker in the world, ending a 24-year reign in the semiconductor industry. According to Japan’s Nomura Securities, Samsung is set to earn $15.1 billion USD in chip sales for Q2. In comparison, Intel is set to earn $14.4 billion USD. The Korean chip giant is also expected to earn more than Intel by the end of the year, with a full-year forecast of $63.6 billion compared to Intel’s $60.5 billion.
Intel is a major player that has maintained the top spot ever since they launched the Pentium CPU in 1993. In comparison, Samsung was at the number seven spot during that time period. The Korean company itself considered the jump to semiconductors a risky move back in 1987, but it paid off eventually. The company saw steady growth, reaching second in total sales behind Intel by 2006.
Success Buoyed by Strong DRAM Demand
Several factors contribute to Samsung’s sales including strong demand for DRAM and solid state drives. As the world’s largest memory chip maker, they continue to generate revenue this year due to high market prices. The demand has outpaced memory production, especially since other than Samsung, there is only Micron and SK Hynix. China is investing a lot of money to get their semiconductor firms to get a foothold on this market. However, they may have the capital but still have a long way to go before they can compete in terms of technology.
Solid state drives are also continually increasing in demand for both personal and data center use. The perception of less reliability over traditional platter drives is also waning, as the faster speed and more resilient nature of SSDs is now widely acceptable. Unlike Intel, Samsung also has a solid foot-hold in the mobile semiconductor arena, including ARM-based SoCs.